Beyoncé’s hairdresser for the last 15 years is a Trinidadian man, Neal Farinah, who has just succeeded in tackling his biggest challenge with the superstar singer.
One of the standout hair moments in Beyoncé’s film ‘Black is King’ is a 30-foot-long braided wig. There is a scene where she stands on a ladder with the braids hanging down. It is a stunning visual moment.
But, as her Trini-born hairstylist tells it, it was also done at great risk. Farinah said: “That wig was so heavy, it could have pulled her off the ladder.” But she did it, despite the risk, because the hairpiece helped tell a story.
Perhaps she also did it to help elevate the way black hairstyles are viewed outside of the film set.
The film, or visual album, is a re-telling of the Disney classic ‘The Lion King’.
When she told Farinah about her “dream project” he was instantly sold. Born in Arima, Farinah moved to the United States, where he quickly learned that hairstylists there have to make a choice about the type of hair they were going to do, black or white.
Yet despite eventually owning his own very successful black salon, when his star client gave him a mandate to create a variety of African inspired looks for her film, Farinah found that he still had a lot to learn.
Researching African hair culture has become his new obsession, and it is something he finds himself doing still, more than a year after they completed filming.